Let Me Explain This To You In Black And White

, , , , , | Right | March 12, 2020

(I’m the owner of several copy centers. In the early days, I used to be on location quite often to adapt the business to customer needs. I answer the phone in order to let employees concentrate on in-store clients.)

Customer: “Hi, is this [Copy Shop]?”

Me: “Yes, how may we help you?”

Customer: “I’ve seen your advertising on the street and it says you also make color copies?”

Me: “Of course.” *gives her some pricing information*

Customer: “Can you also make a color copy of my ID card?”

(This is a precise translation of the customer’s wording; luckily, I have a recording of the conversation.)

Me: “Yes, sure, we can do that.”

(I give the customer our address and instructions on how to get to us. One hour later, in the store, I overhear this from the back:)

Customer: “Hi.”

Employee: “How may I help you?”

Customer: “I spoke with somebody on the phone and he told me that you can make color copies.”

Employee: “Sure.” *gives pricing information* “Can I have the material?”

Customer: “Here you go.” *hands out an A4 sheet and a black and white copy of her ID card*

Employee: *confused* “Are you sure you want a color copy of this? Please note that using a color copier will usually give better quality in this instance.”

Customer: “Yes, sure!”

(My employee makes the copy, which is obviously still black and white, and gives it to the lady.)

Employee: “Here you go!”

Customer: “What’s this? Where are the colors?”

Employee: “Since your original only had the color black, it is the only color on the copy, even if it’s a color copy.”

Customer: “No, I want a color copy. I specially called in advance and asked if you make color copies and I was told so!”

Employee: “I am sorry, but what you demand is technically not possible; I would need your original ID and then the copy would have the colors.”

Customer: “Well, I don’t have it, so this will have to do. Please do your minimum-wage job or get somebody more competent here; I didn’t spend an hour reaching this place only to be refused service.”

Employee: “I’m sorry, but there is no one else to take your order.”

Customer: “How about the guy over there, pointing at me?!”

Employee: “That is our manager.”

Me: “I’m the owner, and it is me that you spoke with on the phone. Everything that my colleague did and said is correct.”

Customer: “Are you joking? Are you making fun of your clients? You gave me misleading information.”

Me: “No, the information was correct. Either you failed to provide us with all the information or failed to understand the basic concept of a copy.”

Customer: “Well, I don’t care. I was misled and I’m not leaving here unless there is color on that copy.”

Me: “Okay, one moment, please.”

(I go with the copy in the back, take some highlighters, and put some color on it before returning.)

Me: “Here you go.”

Customer: *still taking the sheet and before looking at it* “See, it was possible all along!” *looking at it* “What the h*** is this? Are you making fun of me?”

Me: “Yes, it’s most entertaining, and as it turns out, you were right; I was able to add some color.”

Customer: *takes the tip jar off the counter and throws it at me* “You are a cretin and an idiot! I’m going to close this business; I’ll send ‘Consumer Protection Oversight’ and the police! You’ll see!”

(She left, slamming the door, forgetting the folder containing all of her paperwork. That’s probably how she “lost” her ID in first place, to be left with only a copy. To this day, she hasn’t returned for her stuff, but as promised, we got a visit from the “Consumer Protection Oversight” after a complaint from her. They brought the complaint paper, which was quite accurate, and only came to see if it was true; they were as amused by the events as I was and did not even consider giving us a fine or asking for a bribe, as it usually happens around here!)

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A Tech Support Retort

, , , , | Right | October 31, 2019

(I’m working as a junior accountant at an ISP which also offers a free fax-to-email service to customers. Jerk It’s two hours past our working hours when the customer service line starts ringing, but I decide to answer it anyway.)

Me: “Hello, [Fax-To-Email Service], how can I help you?”

Customer: “Yeah, I’m trying to fax some documents to a client of mine, but he says he hasn’t received them. I need these sent out ASAP.”

(I go through the usual troubleshooting steps. I can tell the customer is getting angrier with every question I ask, but I’m trying to help them out anyway.)

Me: “Okay, I’m terribly sorry, but I can’t help you at the moment, as you are trying to send this document to a foreign country fax machine. The reason could be a technical error on our side or a problem with the fax line from Germany. Unfortunately, our offices closed at 5:00 pm, so none of our technical experts are available at the moment, but if you give me your name and contact number I will call you back first thing in the morning and let you know what is the issue and how we can have those documents sent to your client.”

Customer:What? No, you don’t understand. I pay for this service—” *reminder: it’s a free service* “—and I need these documents sent like yesterday and it’s your job to help me send them now.”

Me: “Ma’am, I’m really sorry but there’s nothing we can do right now, since there’s no one left in the office who could take a look at this problem. May I suggest trying to use a different number for your clients, just to rule out the possibility of a problem with their line?”

Customer: “NO! You are a fax company, you have a fax there, you send a fax to them.”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but I cannot use the company fax to send out client documents.”

Customer: “Yeah, I know you can’t. You just answer calls and drink coffee all day, right?”

Me: “Actually, I’m a junior accountant and answering customer calls is the least of my priorities here, especially when it’s way past my working hours and I’m trying to finish something.”

Customer: “This is not how you treat a paying customer! I will call [local Customer Protection Authority] and complain about this! What’s your name? I will call your boss and tell them about their lazy employees who are being rude to their customers.”

Me: *calmly* “My name is [My Name], my manager’s name is [Manager]. If you prefer, you could take this issue straight to our CEO, [CEO]. They will both be here tomorrow at 9:00 am, like the rest of our employees. Is there anything else I can help you with?”

Customer: *silent for a few seconds* “NO!” *hangs up*

Me: “Hey, [Manager, who was anxiously waiting for the call to end so she could have a laugh at me], make sure you’re not late tomorrow morning; someone wants you to teach me a lesson.”

(Of course, we never heard from the customer ever again and I didn’t get into any trouble.)

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We Are All Citizens Of The World

, , , , , | Hopeless | December 10, 2018

Recently my wife and I were flying from Vienna to Bucharest. Seated with us was a young woman from Canada whose flight to Toronto the previous day had been canceled. She was being rerouted via Romania, and she had a tight connection.

When we landed, she worked her way through the crowd as quickly as possible and disappeared ahead of us. We passed a door for connecting flights and assumed she went there, but when we got to passport control she was in the non-citizen line about twelve places back. She told us she’d tried to go to her connecting flight but was redirected here. The line was moving glacially and she would never make her new flight. Frustrated, she began to cry, and my wife and I tried to comfort her.

Then, a woman in the line for citizens noticed what was going on and walked over. She intuited what was happening and went to the front of our line. With gestures, she convinced the people at the head of the line to let the young woman and another man in an identical situation to go next.

When the official at passport control heard their story she left her booth and lead them to the area behind it, where she found someone to take them to their plane. Since there was still close to thirty minutes left, I believe they made the flight.

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Terrorism In Sandals

, , , , | Friendly | August 27, 2018

(I have to change flights at short notice as a meeting ran on longer than expected, so instead of the Romanian national airline I have to use the substandard British one. I discover I am sharing the plane with a tour party of elderly — even older than me — compatriots of mine who are highly prone to complaining. After standing in line for an age to check in my luggage, and then for another age to get through security, I then find myself in another line for the passport check. This is no big deal. It’s what you expect when flying out of Bucharest; you have to allow plenty of time. The two old women behind me in the queue are getting tetchy and impatient.)

Old Woman: “I wish they’d hurry up. This is intolerable.”

Me: “Oh, I don’t know; it’s moving pretty smoothly today. It can take far longer than this.”

(She looks me up and down with a sneer on her face, taking in my open sandals, army-style combat jacket, and Comrade Corbyn hat.)

Old Woman: *in a loud voice* “Well, if only you didn’t dress as a terrorist, maybe the line would move faster!”

Me: “Thank you for that. A bit louder next time; they may not have heard you in Hungary.”

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